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January 26, 2020
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Escaped county jail inmates caught

SALINAS — The two men that escaped from the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility early Saturday have been captured.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said 21-year-old Santos Samuel Fonseca and 20-year-old Jonathan Salazar, who were both awaiting trial on unrelated murder charges and other felony charges, are being transported back to Salinas.

According to Monterey County Sheriff Capt. John Thornburg, the pair was arrested as they crossed into the U.S. from Mexico at the Tijuana border around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

They were on their way back to Monterey County and will be housed in a different part of the jail.

Thornburg said the sheriff’s office is implementing changes to its jailhouse security, although he declined to list specifics.

“We will make every precaution to make sure we don’t have another escape,” he said. 

It was unclear Wednesday why they were in Mexico, how they got there and why they were returning to the U.S. Authorities are also unsure whether they had help in their escape and travels.

“Everyone wants to know how they got from Salinas to Mexico,” Thornburg said. “We will do everything we can to find that out.”

Thornburg said the men face additional charges of escaping custody.

Authorities reported Fonseca and Salazar missing from the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility on Sunday.

The inmates discovered a blind spot in their housing unit and cut through the sheetrock and metal screen and made a 22-inch hole in the bathroom ceiling, Thornburg said.

They managed to climb through the ceiling and find a hatch that leads to a back door, Thornburg said. The pair was then able to exit through a construction site where a new jail is being built and the typical razor wire-topped fencing was not present.


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